Active Living

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Why Is This Important?

Two-thirds of adults and almost one-third of children in the United States are overweight or obese, representing young and old, urban and rural, and majority and minority populations. This epidemic of excess weight is associated with major casues of chronic disease, disability, and death. Obesity-related illness is estimated to carry an annual cost of $190.2 billion.

Colorado has the lowest obesity rate in the nation at 20.5% of the population, with 760,000 obese adults. 23% of Colorado children (ages 2-14) are overweight or obest. With a ranking of 23rd in the nation, Colorado's childhood obesity rate is rising at the second-fastest rate of increase in the nation.

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2017
27.0%
25.0%
1
-4%
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2016
66.0%
50.8%
2
5%
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Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving. Regular physical activity helps improve your overall health and fitness, and reduces your risk for many chronic diseases.

Adults need at least:

  • 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms) OR
  • 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms) OR
  • An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous- intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms)

Children need at least:

  • 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity each day.
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"Active transportation" is a means of getting around that is powered by human energy, primarily walking and bicycling. It is a term that expresses the key connection between healthy, active living and our transportation choices. Just as our existing motorized transportation networks connect destinations via an interconnected system of roadways that enable people to get from point A to point B, active transportation networks allow people to do the same thing by walking and bicycling. Imagine a system of trails, quiet neighborhood streets, bike lanes and cycle tracks that connect your home with your work, school, shopping, entertainment and other destinations.

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Community engagement refers to the process by which community benefit organizations and individuals build ongoing, permanent relationships for the purpose of applying a collective vision for the benefit of a community. Community engagement is a type of public participation that involves people in problem-solving or decision-making processes. It is a multifaceted, ongoing process. The importance of engaging the community is grounded in the belief that the public has a right to participate. The public health community believes that by using our "collective intelligence" and working together, we will more accurately identify problems and develop more elegant and effective solutions. It is also believed that conflict will be minimized if people have had a chance to "buy into" the process.

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These are programs and policies that support the demand side of active living and active transport such as after-school physical activity programs, biking and walking programs, bike give-away programs, and more.

Engaging in regular physical activity is one of the most important things that people of all ages can do to improve their health. Physical activity strengthens bones and muscles, reduces stress and depression, and makes it easier to maintain a healthy body weight or to reduce weight if overweight or obese. Even people who do not lose weight get substantial benefits from regular physical activity, including lower rates of blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. Healthy physical activity includes aerobic activity, muslce strengthening activities, and activities to increase balance and flexibility. As described by the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week, and children and teenagers should engage in at least one hour of activity each day. Source: National Prevention Strategy

Active Living by Design recommends 5Ps - Promotion, Preparation, Programs, Policies, and Physical Projects

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The built environment is an important determinant of physical activity behavior. It can provide the opportunities, support, and choices or barriers to being physically active. Over the past 60 years the proliferation of private car ownership has led to lower-density land use and a decline in incidental daily physical activity. A wide range of labor-saving devices and a shift in employment from more physically active to less active roles has also contributed to the decline in physical activity.

The built environment includes land-use patterns, transport systems, urban design, green spaces and all buildings and spaces that are created by people (including schools, homes, workplaces and recreational areas). Most sustainable physical activity occurs during everyday activities within the built environment rather than for leisure. Hence the qualities of the built environment have a significant role in facilitating more active lifestyles by reducing barriers to, and creating opportunities for physical activity. There is increasing evidence that adapting the built environment has the potential to encourage increased physical activity to levels that are beneficial to health.

Leisure physical activity may be most affected by access to, and characteristics of public and private recreation facilities. Transportation physical activity may be most related to the proximity and directness of routes from home to destinations (known as walkability) as well as characteristics of the walking and cycling infrastructure, including sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and trails.

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This includes expanding the PCMH and Accountable Care Community efforts.

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We not only want to expand messaging and education on active living, but we want to integrate it with our strategy so it has a greater impact.

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